Foie Gras

If I were ever asked what my last meal would be, it wouldn’t be a difficult answer. Foie gras, seared gently and cooked medium-rare, served with a compote of sorts and some toasts. It’s heaven on a plate to me.

Sadly, I can count the number of people I know who love liver as much as I do on one finger. So as a result, I’ve rarely prepared it.

Fortunately, I am able to buy beef liver where I live, and do enjoy it on occasion, typically with eggs and lots of browned onions.

And, I am able to purchase chicken liver in order to make chicken liver paté.

But there is just no comparing a slice of beef liver, or puréed chicken livers to the wonderfulness that is foie gras, and it was high time I purchased it.

My source for foie gras is the wonderful store and website D’Artagnan. The founder of D’Artagnan is Ariane Daguin, and her story is inspirational.

I purchased two lobes from D’Artagnan – one to cook sliced, and the other to make a paté for the holidays.

Foie Gras with Beet Pancakes, Poached Apples, and Nectar

I chose to serve the foie gras with beet pancakes, which I made simply with grated beets, chopped shallots, egg, and flour.

Because fruit pairs so well with foie gras, I poached apple slices in a combination of apple nectar and maple syrup until soft, then reduced the liquid until syrupy.

Sometimes there is confusion, as one can make paté from liver, or one can make paté from foie gras, as my friend Stéphane did when I visited him at his home five long years ago. I got to help a little!

To prepare the foie gras, slice the lobe gently but firmly. Place the slices on a plate, and season with salt and pepper.

I like to cook foie gras in browned butter. I prefer a lighter sear, so I immediately turned down the fire after turning over the foie gras slices.

It only takes a few minutes per side, depending on the thickness. As I mentioned, I love foie gras medium rare. To the plate with 2 slices of foie gras I added a beet pancake, some of the nectar-poached apples, and then poured on a little syrup.


The combination was perfection, if I may say so myself!

I included the beet pancake for color, but one could place the foie gras slices on bread slices optionally.

If all you’ve heard about foie gras is the inhumane treatment of ducks and geese, please read this article by my favorite Serious Eats writer J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT. The article is well-researched, educational, and also based on personal experience.

By Published On: November 16th, 201862 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

62 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet November 16, 2018 at 6:14 AM - Reply

    Wow! That looks wonderful, Mimi. I definitely love foie gras as much as you and have always named it as part of my ‘last meal’. I’ve never tried cooking it myself though so this is an inspiration! I also like calves’ liver and always eat Fegato alla Veneziana any time I go to Venice. I’m not so keen on lambs’ liver these days, although my mother regularly cooked it when I was a child; I find the flavour a bit too strong now and it lacks the delicacy of foie gras and calves’ liver.

  2. chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 6:37 AM - Reply

    Interesting. I’ve never had lamb’s liver. I should probably seek it out… thank you for the compliment. Foie gras really is something wonderful.

  3. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso November 16, 2018 at 6:51 AM - Reply

    Mouthwatering! :)

    • chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 7:55 AM - Reply

      Yes, thank you!

  4. Ron November 16, 2018 at 6:56 AM - Reply

    Mimi, you can count me on your little finger, as I love liver and medium rare is fine with me. I remember the first time a had foie gras vividly as it was a major food WOW for me. Your foie gras looks marvelous and with those beet pancake and pears it looks perfect.

    • chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      Well then that would be two fingers, but only if you lived nearby! Yes, it’s definitely a WOW food. Thank you.

  5. jenniferguerrero1 November 16, 2018 at 6:56 AM - Reply

    That looks wonderful, Mimi! I’ve only had it seared once in a gorgeous restaurant down in New Orleans and that was a total game changer for me. I love your plating on this one! :D

    • chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Thank you Jennifer! It’s a spectacular food.

      • jenniferguerrero1 November 16, 2018 at 7:07 AM

        I’ve never made it before. I wonder if the kids would like it…

  6. 2pots2cook November 16, 2018 at 10:32 AM - Reply

    Would gladly have this one to be the last and Satchmo singing “What a wonderful world”…. Beautiful one Mimi ! Thank you !

    • chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 11:52 AM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! Now I have to think of my last song…

  7. Lynz Real Cooking November 16, 2018 at 12:43 PM - Reply

    You are quite the chef! This looks amazing

    • chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 12:50 PM - Reply

      Thank you! Just a home cook, but thanks.

  8. Gaz November 16, 2018 at 1:10 PM - Reply

    Decadence but in such a good way

    • chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 2:46 PM - Reply

      YES! In a very good way!

  9. Angela@eatlivehappy November 16, 2018 at 2:39 PM - Reply

    Wow! What a gorgeous meal! I love the beet pancakes and apples. I do not care for liver but I love it in pate’. Especially love it with Foie Gras and Port!

    • chef mimi November 16, 2018 at 2:46 PM - Reply

      Chicken liver pate´is so good. This was the first time I’d made my own foie gras pate´, which I didn’t do a post on. Do you mean you don’t care for just eating a slice of liver?

      • Angela@eatlivehappy November 16, 2018 at 6:21 PM

        Yes. I’m not fan of liver on it’s own but love it in Pate’ . I think it a texture thing.

  10. grumpytyke November 17, 2018 at 2:24 AM - Reply

    Although many people say they don’t like liver (I suspect many who do like paté do not know the basic ingredient – not your readers of course) but it is still very popular in the UK. The traditional British meal – liver, bacon and onions – was a staple in our house when I was young, the liver being ox liver (which is still just about the cheapest meat you can buy). I make that from time to time. It has to be well cooked to be tender.
    However, liver must still be popular here because any butcher will have ox liver, lamb’s liver and, more rarely, calve’s liver on display.
    Calve’s liver is of course the basis of a renowned Italian dish, Fegato alla Veneziana, which is just wonderful. It is traditionally served with polenta I believe. I make that occasionaly too where, instead of fruit, caramalised onions add the sweetness.
    But I actually like the bitterness of liver which the fruit/onions are intended to offset.
    The most eaten liver in our house is chicken livers, in an odd Romanian combination. It is served with ‘cottage cheese’ combined with sour cream and served with ‘mămăligă’ – a Romanian version of ‘polenta’ which I prefer, being coarser and with more flavour if from the countryside rather than from ‘commerce’. When my wife makes it the liver is well-cooked. When I make it is medium rare. I like either.
    I’ve only ever eaten fois gras in France. It is indeed heaven on a plate but personally I prefer it without the fruit.

    • chef mimi November 17, 2018 at 9:33 AM - Reply

      That’s interesting! My reduction wasn’t overly sweet. Of course I don’t like anything sweet. I’d rather enjoy a baked Brie with sautéed mushrooms instead of honey! Very interesting about the Romanian dish. Sounds really fascinating!

  11. Linda Duffin November 17, 2018 at 8:28 AM - Reply

    We really are related somewhere down the line, I adore foie gras any which way. Thanks for sharing, soul sister!

    • chef mimi November 17, 2018 at 9:31 AM - Reply

      Hahahaha! Thank you Linda!

  12. David November 17, 2018 at 1:44 PM - Reply

    Yet another thing we have in common – a love of liver(s)! Love beef love calves liver, duck love, lamb liver, and – above all – foie gras! I need to order a lobe or two from D’artagnan. Thanks for a good reminder! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • chef mimi November 17, 2018 at 2:41 PM - Reply

      Happy Thanksgiving to you both as well. Already working… Between T dinner and brunch on the following day I’ve got too many dishes planned!

  13. My Little Italian Kitchen November 17, 2018 at 6:03 PM - Reply

    I grew up eating my grandmother’s chicken livers and hearts. We used to cook them in a pan just like you have done and they were so delicious. I have never made my own foie gras! Looks interesting Mimi and I can only imagine how delicious it must be!

    • chef mimi November 17, 2018 at 10:05 PM - Reply

      It’s all good, though really, right? Chicken livers? Hearts? Beef liver? Foie gras is just a step above, but it’s not necessary to make your own, if you can order it at a restaurant.

  14. kathryninthekitchen November 17, 2018 at 7:50 PM - Reply

    Mimi – another exquisite post 😊. I agree with you (and Ron) re foie gras…when I first had it in France I was blown away….it too is one of my favourite foods and I think the way you have presented it is lovely…

    • chef mimi November 17, 2018 at 10:04 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much Kathryn. That means a lot to me!

  15. ladyredspecs November 17, 2018 at 10:49 PM - Reply

    I’m a liver fan too but rarely prepare it bacause it’s too much fuss when I’m the only one who will eat it. My local deli sells a delicious duck liver parfait so I get my fix often enough

    • chef mimi November 18, 2018 at 6:54 AM - Reply

      Exactly! I have the same problem, unfortunately – also with lamb and duck. Sounds like you have a good deli, thankfully !

  16. Adrianne - Sweet Caramel Sunday November 18, 2018 at 2:51 AM - Reply

    Interesting Mimi and very off the beaten track. Love the photo of you in your friends kitchen from 5 years ago! Lots of great pics in this post!!

    • chef mimi November 18, 2018 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      Thank you Adrianne. In the past when I’ve posted on liver, I’ve lost followers, so we’ll see… but it doesn’t change my mind on it, and the treatment of geese have become highly regulated these day, thankfully.

      • Adrianne - Sweet Caramel Sunday November 18, 2018 at 12:53 PM

        Oh I see! A highly controversial topic! It honours the bird more to consume all of it than only some and discarding the rest I believe.

  17. Frank | Memorie di Angelina November 18, 2018 at 7:24 AM - Reply

    I’m not sure if it’d be my last meal—actually I’d rather not think about that—but I totally agree that fois gras is heavenly. Nice in pâté, too, but when it’s seared… yum!

    • chef mimi November 18, 2018 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      Thank you, Frank! And this is me making that decision with a gun at my temple! So many wonderful foods from which to choose…

  18. Jeff the Chef November 18, 2018 at 8:04 AM - Reply

    I can’t tell you how delicious this looks! I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know you could prepare foie gras like this. I’ve only ever had it in pate form.

    • chef mimi November 18, 2018 at 8:34 AM - Reply

      You just have to buy the lobes, that’s all. And have a good source, of course! It’s not something I make often, since I have to eat it all by myself. I know I’ve gained at least 20 pounds directly related to this blog. I get to make things I like, but then I kinda have to eat them!

      • Jeff the Chef November 19, 2018 at 11:31 PM

        I know exactly what you mean about the blog. I keep swearing to start making 4-inch cakes! I’ll have to see if I can find the lobes.

  19. canelakitchen November 18, 2018 at 9:54 AM - Reply

    looks absolutely delicious !! love it!

    • chef mimi November 18, 2018 at 12:54 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  20. Dawn - Girl Heart Food November 18, 2018 at 10:31 AM - Reply

    I’ve never prepared foie gras at home; it’s something I’ve had out as a treat…I can totally see why you enjoy it so much :)

    • chef mimi November 18, 2018 at 12:54 PM - Reply

      It’s utterly magical to me!

  21. Jean | Lemons + Anchovies November 18, 2018 at 10:31 AM - Reply

    I love foie gras and like you, not many people around me do. I remember years ago dining with travel companions in Europe. Foie gras was always served as amuse bouche and I was the only one of my party of 10 who liked it–it was heaven for me!

    • chef mimi November 18, 2018 at 12:55 PM - Reply

      Did you get to eat all ten servings?!!! Once at a winery in France our family was served a terrine as a first course, and I ate all four servings!

  22. StefanGourmet November 19, 2018 at 1:31 AM - Reply

    This looks great, Mimi! My favorite dish is Tournedos Rossini, which this year I’ll be making for New Year’s Eve. When I had Rossini for the first time in a restaurant in France, I was making inappropriate noises while eating! If you’ve seen When Harry Met Sally, you know what I’m talking about. I would recommend a nice glass of Sauternes with your dish :-)

    • chef mimi November 19, 2018 at 7:33 AM - Reply

      HAHAHAHAHAHA! I do love reading your comments. Once when visiting Stephane with a girlfriend, we went to a restaurant in the Dordogne just to have that dish. And it was spectacular. And I got double the foie gras because my girlfriend can’t handle the texture. More for me! When I ate the foie gras that day I served myself Lillet.

  23. StefanGourmet November 19, 2018 at 1:32 AM - Reply

    PS as you know I do themed wine dinner parties. I’ve toying with the idea of a foie gras theme; I probably have enough friends who wouldn’t mind 5 courses of foie gras. Will you come?

    • chef mimi November 19, 2018 at 7:31 AM - Reply

      Stop teasing. I so wish I could.

  24. David @ Spiced November 19, 2018 at 7:27 AM - Reply

    I must admit that I’ve never actually made foie gras at home. I think it’s high time that I tried it out! And I also really appreciate you sharing that Serious Eats article. Interesting and super informative!

    • chef mimi November 19, 2018 at 7:30 AM - Reply

      Yes, it’s an important read I think. I’ve already had someone accuse me of approving of animal abuse.

  25. Vinny Grette November 19, 2018 at 10:39 AM - Reply

    I agree entirely, Mimi. Once, in a French restaurant in Montreal, I ordered seared foie gras for dessert – heaven!

    • Vinny Grette November 19, 2018 at 10:43 AM - Reply

      About animal abuse – I visited a goose farm in the Dordogne where I saw the geese running over to the farmer and clamoring for grain – they didn’t look unhappy to me. I suppose anyone who enjoys animal products is sanctioning animal abuse. Ever see a truck load of pigs heading for the slaughter house?

      • chef mimi November 19, 2018 at 3:34 PM

        Exactly. This one commenter was very misinformed, so I’m assuming she is vegan.

    • chef mimi November 19, 2018 at 6:57 PM - Reply

      Oh my!!!!! Heaven indeed!

  26. Sherry A Mackay November 19, 2018 at 9:32 PM - Reply

    i don’t mind a chicken liver pate or even chicken hearts but i do find it hard to come at foie gras. eek!:) cheers sherry

    • chef mimi November 20, 2018 at 5:17 AM - Reply

      You’re not alone!

  27. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons November 20, 2018 at 9:45 AM - Reply

    The first time I ate foie gras in France I thought I had died and gone to heaven! It was served with a small glass of Sauterne, which in itself was a revelation. Foie gras was ‘outlawed’ in California but that might have changed. I will see if I can order some for the holidays, both my husband and I adore it.

    • chef mimi November 20, 2018 at 9:47 AM - Reply

      I remember California was stubborn about disallowing the sale of foie gras. But you can get it shipped in, right? It is heavenly!

  28. popsiclesociety November 22, 2018 at 10:25 PM - Reply

    I love it!

    • chef mimi November 23, 2018 at 7:01 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

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